|“||You would prefer another target, a military target? Then name the system! I grow tired of asking this so it will be the last time: Where is the rebel base?'||„|
|~ Grand Moff Tarkin's interrogation with Princess Leia.|
|“||You're far too trusting. Dantooine is too remote to make an effective demonstration, but don't worry; we will deal with your rebel friends soon enough.||„|
|~ Grand Moff Tarkin to Leia, just before obliterating Alderaan|
|“||Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.||„|
|~ Grand Moff Tarkin answering to one of his commanders, minutes before the Death Star is destroyed|
|“||Enough of this! Vader, release him!||„|
|~ Tarkin requesting Vader to stop force-choking Admiral Motti|
He was portrayed by Peter Cushing. He also makes a brief cameo in the last movie of the prequel saga, Revenge of the Sith at the end of the movie as he along with Vader and Emperor Darth Sidious supervise the construction of the Death Star on board the Star Destroyer.
Episode IV: A New Hope
In the first officially launched episode/movie of the Star Wars franchise (re-released as Episode IV: A New Hope), Grand Moff Tarkin makes a first appearance with Darth Vader, after the Millenium Falcon had landed one one of the Death Star bays. Darth Vader feels the presence of his old master, but Tarkin reassures him that the Jedi are extinct.
He and Lord Vader held Princess Leia Organa captive on board the Death Star. They attempted to interrogate her to reveal the location of the Rebel Base. After Leia told him the base was on the planet of Dantooine, Tarkin decides to destroy the princess's home planet Alderaan anyway, and then deal with her "rebel friends" later. This makes him cross the Moral Event Horizon like he's driving a spaceship into it. After the truth is revealed that the rebel base was not at Dantooine, Tarkin planned to have Leia Organa killed.
After Princess Leia is rescued by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, Tarkin plots with Vader the destruction of the Rebel base when in range, having planted a signal beacon on the Millenium Falcon before they escaped. During the Rebel attack on the Death Star, however, Luke Skywalker uses the Force to guide his proton torpedoes to the exhaust port and destroys the Imperial space station, killing all Imperial troops, commanders, and officials on board. Tarkin is the most-notable of the crew of the Death Star to be destroyed in the explosion.
- Tarkin can be regarded as the second main antagonist of A New Hope (alongside Vader himself), as Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious (the true villain of the entire saga) did not make his first appearance until "The Empire Strikes Back", and also Peter Cushing, who played the character got high billing behind Mark Hamill (Luke), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia).
- Despite the fact that Luke, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Obi-Wan Kenobi are Tarkin's enemies, and Luke is the one who kills him, they have never had any actual interactions.
- Despite his respect for Palpatine, Tarkin does not seem to care about Palpatine's fate and is more eager to gain the Empire for himself than to serve Palpatine.
- Tarkin's evil is regarded with close respect to Palpatine, and despite far smaller screentime, his destruction of Alderaan is regarded as one of the worst actions of the saga..
- He is commonly mistaken as the main antagonist. However, Vader is the main antagonist since Tarkin only makes a few appearances throughout the movie, plus Vader had bigger plans than anyone else.